Nutrient content and release from soybean residues in comparison to other pulse crops in Saskatchewan

  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Soybeans
  • Crop Rotation
  • Soil Health
  • Sustainability
  • University of Saskatchewan

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Jeff Schoenau

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

University of Saskatchewan - Dept. of Soil Sciences


To determine the plant nutrient content, uptake and composition of the residue of soybean grown under Saskatchewan conditions and the contribution that the residue makes to nutrition and yield of following cereal and canola crop, in comparison to pea and lentil.


Soybean produced similar or higher grain yield and nutrient uptake, and had similar effects on soil macro- and micronutrient availability to the following crops in comparison to pea and lentil. Compared to pea and lentil, soybean had significantly higher phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S) concentrations in the grain across the sites, and similar or larger removal of these nutrient elements, suggesting potential for additional depletion of these elements from the soil over the long-term when soybean is grown. Soybean was found to be a good N fixer with about 70% of its N derived from fixation. Overall, this research suggests promising prospects for soybean production under the soil-climatic conditions in the northern Great Plains, with considerations for soil P and K depletion in the long term when soybean is grown over several rotational cycles, although similar short-term effects on yield and nutrition of following crops were observed from soybean, pea, and lentil grown under similar conditions. This suggests in the short-term, the requirements for added fertilizer for wheat and canola grown following soybean would be relatively similar to pea and lentil.

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SPG Contribution


Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2014 - 2017


Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund, Western Grains Research Foundation

Total Project Cost